Vandyke issues

Discussion in 'Alternative Processes' started by SMBooth, Dec 28, 2011.

  1. SMBooth

    SMBooth Member

    Messages:
    1,143
    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2008
    Location:
    Melbourne, N
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Over the Christmas period Ive been having a go at doing some Vandyke images, and I seem to have a problem. The problem is I'm getting a large amount of grey in the final image including some of the edge where the paper (Arches Aquarelle) was coated but got full exposure to the sun. Could this be a coating issue, i put on 2 coats using a foam bush dried between coats with a hairdryer. The exposure time seem very short too, less than a minute in the Australian sun.
    [​IMG]
    Vandyke issue009
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 28, 2011
  2. tony lockerbie

    tony lockerbie Subscriber

    Messages:
    2,363
    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2006
    Location:
    Merimbula NSW Australia
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I tried a couple a few months ago, and my problem seemed to be mainly a coating issue, I just couldn't get it even. The emulsion just seemed to be soaking into the paper too much, maybe I need to size it. The colour wasn't a problem, just the streaking and uneven density. I used a glass rod and then tried a Hake brush, which I preferred.
    Your problem may be down to the water, or fixing....what fixer are you using?
    Tony
     
  3. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,773
    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2010
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    Please tell me your Van Dyke chemical formulation and I maybe able to help.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 28, 2011
  4. Hexavalent

    Hexavalent Subscriber

    Messages:
    578
    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2009
    Location:
    Ottawa, Onta
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Try only one coat of sensitizer, or two coats diluted to 75%.

    It looks like an excess of sensitizer from what I can see, which would explain the very short exposure, and muddy tones.
     
  5. SMBooth

    SMBooth Member

    Messages:
    1,143
    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2008
    Location:
    Melbourne, N
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Ok thanks, the formula is the standard 9/1.5/3.8 found online using green Ferric Ammonium Citrate. I thought after posting it might of been fogging. The fix was very dilute plain hypo, next time I'll mix a batch to 5% solution to be on the safe side. Might go get me a Hake brush at the arts store before trying again.
     
  6. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,773
    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2010
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    can you please explain this in detail with process steps?
     
  7. SMBooth

    SMBooth Member

    Messages:
    1,143
    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2008
    Location:
    Melbourne, N
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Clive.
    Mix is as per Wynn White’s notes, mixed with distilled water. http://www.alternativephotography.com/wp/processes/kallitypes/vandyke-notes
    2 coats applied in dimish room with drying time under film box between coats. Paper: Arches Aquarelle 300gsm
    Sensitizer applied with foam bush, i never measured out the senistizer just poured some into plastic container used and pour what was left back into bottle. Next time I will measure out 2ml per 8x10
    Film and paper in contact frame under sunlight.
    Wash in water, funny that nothing seem to wash out
    Fix in dilute plain hypo.
    Wash in water
    Dry
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 28, 2011
  8. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,773
    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2010
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    OK, I think I can help. After exposure in sunlight and before the first wash in continuous running water, get a tray/sink with plug in plug hole and add water (enough to cover the print/s, the quantity of water is of course dependent on the size of your prints, let’s say about 4 litres). Add to this about two tablespoons of Borax powder and stir until dissolved. Then add print/s and agitate/stir for about 5 minutes (you will now observe a wash out). Then wash in running water for about 10 minutes before fix.
     
  9. SMBooth

    SMBooth Member

    Messages:
    1,143
    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2008
    Location:
    Melbourne, N
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Update, spend the day playing, problem was indeed to much sensitiser. I brought a Hake brush to apply, still having application problems, but that seem to be my technique and perhaps oily fingers as the paper has spotty marks all over it.
     
  10. SMBooth

    SMBooth Member

    Messages:
    1,143
    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2008
    Location:
    Melbourne, N
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Thanks,
    What the Borax do?
     
  11. Hexavalent

    Hexavalent Subscriber

    Messages:
    578
    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2009
    Location:
    Ottawa, Onta
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    One of the papers I use for alt-process seems to have a light coating of dust (perhaps talc), likely from the finishing/packaging process. This surface dust (or whatever it is) reveals handling marks (even gloved hands) only on the final print -- very frustrating! I've discovered that a very gentle wipe with a barely damp cloth/sponge and few minutes to dry before coating makes a huge difference.
     
  12. Hexavalent

    Hexavalent Subscriber

    Messages:
    578
    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2009
    Location:
    Ottawa, Onta
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The following reducer works very well with VDB:


    [TD="class: nowrap"]Potassium Ferricyanide [/TD]










    .25 gm
    Potassium Bromide .2 gm
    Hypo 5 gm
    Water to make 1000 ml
    It works well to clear highlights and salvage moderately overexposed prints.

    It is a bit risky to treat most iron-based processes in an alkaline environment unless one is sure that ALL the iron salts have been washed out. If they remain, it is only a matter of time before fading and mottling appear. A pinch of citric acid or EDTA hastens the removal of the unwanted salts before fixing.
     
  13. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,773
    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2010
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    Hexalent, just to clarify your post, are you advocating this formula as a replacement to borax dissolved in water at this stage in the process, i.e. before washing and fixation? If so are you also advocating same regardless of oxalic or tartric in original formulation?
     
  14. Hexavalent

    Hexavalent Subscriber

    Messages:
    578
    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2009
    Location:
    Ottawa, Onta
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I use the 'bleach' after 'normal' processing (wash out the excess salts, fix, wash). A dry print can be soaked in water briefly and then bleached if so desired. As there can be considerable dry-down with VDB, I find it easier to determine if a print requires bleaching when it has been fully processed and dry.


    A pinch of citric acid in the first wash, regardless of the oxalic/tartaric content of the sensitizer should do no harm; it's purpose is to aid the removal (chelate) of unwanted iron salts that can form insoluble compounds (particularly in alkaline water). I see the citric acid as being cheap insurance :tongue:
     
  15. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,773
    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2010
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    Hexalent, I understand your point, but have you ever tried Borax as a substitute at that 1st stage in the process?
     
  16. Loris Medici

    Loris Medici Member

    Messages:
    653
    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2005
    Location:
    Istanbul, Tu
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    cliveh, what's the point of borax? Borax solutions are alkaline, and by using borax before getting rid of the excess iron in the print (that takes place at the first couple of rinses in pH neutral or very slightly acidic water), you guarantee formation of iron hydroxide in the paper, which is definitely detrimental to both the image and the paper. In the context of iron-silver processes, any alkaline treatment before rinse / toning and fixing should be avoided at all costs...
     
  17. SMBooth

    SMBooth Member

    Messages:
    1,143
    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2008
    Location:
    Melbourne, N
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Appreciate your help guys, the spot look like water droplets, so I will give your idea a go Hexalent. I have seen the reducer formula but was going to leave it until I got the basics worked out. I'll give the borax and citrus a go as like I said earlier nothing seem to wash out of the paper it the first wash maybe this will help. Again thanks to you both.
     
  18. cliveh

    cliveh Subscriber

    Messages:
    4,773
    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2010
    Shooter:
    35mm RF
    I beg to differ.
     
  19. Loris Medici

    Loris Medici Member

    Messages:
    653
    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2005
    Location:
    Istanbul, Tu
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Shane, stay away of borax if you want your prints to last... BTW, citric acid pre-treatment (very little is enough) is what I do too - but that may not be the solution of your particular problem, it's good-practice nevertheless. (I add few drops of 40% citric acid solution into the coating solution too, makes most papers work better. N.B. I add it to the coating solution, not the stock sensitizer solution.)

    Regards,
    Loris.
     
  20. Loris Medici

    Loris Medici Member

    Messages:
    653
    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2005
    Location:
    Istanbul, Tu
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    cliveh, be my guest if you want to differ. In any case, I have to suggest that you do some reading about the chemistry / conservation of iron-silver processes / prints (and paper conservation too...)

    Regards,
    Loris.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 29, 2011
  21. Hexavalent

    Hexavalent Subscriber

    Messages:
    578
    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2009
    Location:
    Ottawa, Onta
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    No I haven't tried it. Chemically speaking, it doesn't make good sense to me (though it's not unlikely that I'm wrong :tongue:)
     
  22. Hexavalent

    Hexavalent Subscriber

    Messages:
    578
    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2009
    Location:
    Ottawa, Onta
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    ..
    Ah! The evil water droplet strikes again! A drop on the paper will indeed affect a coating; sometimes causing more sensitizer to sink in, or the complete opposite. I had a (bad) habit of giving my coating brush a good shake before coating, sending droplets flying - and I wondered why I was seeing little spots on my prints.:tongue:

    Some folks add "Tween" or Photo-flo to their sensitizer to facilitate even coating on stubborn papers.

    If you look closely, you will likely observe a faint cloudiness in the first wash water; the silver nitrate combines with chlorine in the water producing a insoluble silver chloride (assuming your water is chlorinated). Although there are no spectacular indications that unwanted salts are being removed, be assured that they are!

    Good luck, and enjoy your prints. VDB is a beautiful process.